Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Monday that the Pacific Alliance plans to add new members and Ecuador may be interested in joining. The alliance is a trade organization that currently consists of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
Ecuador President Lenin Moreno says he is studying the possibility of joining the alliance and said a decision could come soon. “This is a regional integration initiative that we have been watching for several years so we understand the benefits that if offers,” he said.
In addition to opening new markets for Ecuadorian products, Moreno said he was also interested in the opportunity to “maintain and deepen multi-lateral ties of friendship and cooperation with countries in the Pacific region.”
Santos, who is president pro tempore of the alliance, wants to bring Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore into the alliance in addition to other Latin American countries. Santos met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at last week’s Summit of the Americas in Lima and said that expansion offered much more than new trade opportunities.
“We look to build cultural, educational and scientific, as well as economic bridges across the Pacific,” he said.
Ecuador signed a trade agreement with the European Union in 2016 and is currently in trade talks with the U.S.